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Psss – Sneak Peek at Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2018 – Trends & Design Preview

Kips Bay Decorator Show – Andrew Torrey “After Party” Room 

Monday marked opening day of the 2018 Kips Bay Decorator Show. Yesterday was the sneak peek press previous and there is lots of superlative design looks to share.

I love this rite of spring; the annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House is especially rich this year. The designs and decor are opulent – a return to full-frontal glamour (not the over-the-top stage kind – although there’s enough glitter to make anyone smile). No, the rooms are sumptuous, laden with details and artisanal features yet endowed with comfort and great stye – whispering true luxury.

I also especially love touring the Kips Bay show house for two reasons: it’s a benefit for a good cause – and because unlike trade shows, this design mecca is a kind of in situ so you can readily get a feel for the designers’ genius compositions.

All the designers start with a blank slate – a gutted space – and then they work their magic.
The “before” to “after” photos are startling.
Like alchemists, this year’s 22 designers transform a space to tell a story. Every room includes a Title and the designers supply the narrative.

You’ll adore Mark D. Sikes’ “Sleeping Beauty” for example.
Sikes, author of Beautiful: All-American Decorating and Timeless Style, designed the enchanting boudoir “fit for a princess.”

Indeed the delicate, fairytale-like blue and white room features a bed in the middle of the room, surrounded with antiques from the eponymous style icons Bunny Mellon and C.Z. Guest (both were great gardeners, too); the incredible porcelain flowers I covet from Valdirmir Kanevsky (I fell hard for his flower art after seeing them in a magazine with premiere collector, Deeda Blair.)

“Sleeping Beauty” is further complemented with a mix of chinoiserie, ikats, stripes, and a green flowered wallpaper that suggests you might be dreaming in a garden.

The Show House has seven levels or floors – from the cellar and garden floor to the rooftop Pavarini designed Home Wellness Retreat – complete with an outdoor fountain.

All are brimming with artisanal details and layers and layers of stunning details.

The trends I noted at this year’s show house include:

  • Sinuous sofas — all those curving lines makes one languid… 
  • Lucite aka to some as “Ghost Furniture” – from side tables to legs of other material table tops, to coffee tables – the material reflects the light and is an ideal pedestal for displaying art or coffee table books (I’ve been increasingly adding lucite to my home decor so nice to see it here)
  • Wallpaper – textured (rafia, cork, fabric: linen & velvet) backed in gold or embroidered with crystal 
  • Ceilings or the 5th Wall – featured high gloss paint, wallpaper, texture 
  • Reflective Surfaces and Accessories
  • Art – from video installations to paintings to photography to flowers to glass to cocktail accessories/tools to sculpture to panels backlit and adorned with whimsical objets d’art 
  • Color: apricot, grey, cinnabar, sherbet hues. Classic blue and white. Natural greens. 
  • Lighting: antique chandeliers to nature/floral inspired custom sculpture — lighting sets the mood… 

From the magical moment you step down into this renovated townhouse you will be transported. I suggest a “Ladies Who Lunch” kind of a day or a Mother’s Day gift to tour the showhouse.
And bring your mates, of course. There’s much to celebrate here where designers and architects come together and offer their inspired art.

More of my sneak peek favorites:

Stefan Steil designed a transition – or buffer – from the outside bustle of the hectic world into the tranquility of arriving home.

This is truly an elevated Mud Room inspired by the Room With a View movie.
See the Walking Sticks as art and the beveled, courtyard looking flooring, travertine texture wallpaper that he hand-ripped or tore to give it a true stone block look. Design genius.

The pony-tail gold sconces are unique and as all of Stefan’s designs here – balance the masculine and feminine forms. From a entry standpoint, Stefan’s designs surely draws you in.

You’ll love the sinuous sofa in shades of apricot — and the cloud light by Ayala Serfaty is heart-stopping light treatment with glass skeleton that evokes a cloud.

The silver branches that Stefan has extended out from the “cloud” are MJ Atelier one-piece canvas then painstakingly layered with plaster to create an astonishing reason to Look Up.

The Clive Christian kitchen needs no introduction. Just let me add the Cambria American made, family-owned producer of natural quartz surfaces and their sensuous, undulating Oceanic wave design is sublime nature. Surely an organic marriage to food…

The walnut crafted design cabinets and refrigerador fronts will melt your heart.
Or maybe it will be the aqua burled walnut veneer over the stovetop – or maybe — it will be the Akdo subway tile in mirror and stainless steel.

Details – you can design your own logo on the door knobs!

Not to be missed: the Baccarat tumbler lighting fixtures. Such subtle drama…

Bunny Williams’ “Gilded Knot” story is a delight. How clever to rather remake knotty pine with golden knots faux bois hand-painted by Bob Christian

I learned the story here was that as the room evolved, Bunny declared a kind of tree house — and so, a glamorous spider web was in order.
It’s an exciting panel that is hiding an “ugly mirror.” Art Groove hand-crafted this light-reflective and whimsical, glamourous design. This is one of the key reasons why you should go to a design show house.

The tree-leaf compliment chandelier is a wowsy Rosie Li creation.

The chair back detail is an exciting modern take on a throwback to hand-crafting.  This is a Bunny original.

Another reason just like this is to step into the incredible experience of Andrew Torrey

His “After Party” theme is sensual and sexy. The overwhelming art-inspired room is astonishing. This is the place you’d come to for hanging out… Indeed.

Or a reason to stay in.

The cork walls with gold glitter backing by Phillip Jeffries surrounds the walls and covers the soffits.

The Kansas-bred, first-time designer possesses an extraordinary sensual approach to design.
I teased him that he’s not in Kansas anymore – to which he readily agreed!
This exuberant and friendly talent brings that Kansas, “Wizard of Oz” magic to his dreamy, over the rainbow designs, saying he wanted to imbue a cozy decadence filled with art.

Who doesn’t love an artful-fueled ambiance?

He commissioned a video to preview Bond-related film-art.

Behind the Cambria marble bar is Kehinde Wiley art.

The terrace chairs are Ralph Pucci – so – so how do I say – human looking. Sweet and mid-century organic. With those yoga “cactus arm” backs.

Hermes couldn’t resist Andrew; providing the glass elements.

Quick shout outs to Philip Mitchell designs

and the Marcia Tucker master bath with a garden-inspired wall of bromeliads and orchids created by

Magnaflora fronting the free-standing tub.

More on the incredible Kips Bay Show House in my next series of posts. There’s just so much to see and experience. Please write and let me and readers know what your take on the Kips Bay Decorator Show House is.

This news from Kips Bay:

“The Show House, celebrating its 46th year in 2018, is hosted by New York’s premiere local youth organization, the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club. The talented group of designers will bring the impressive 15,000 square foot space at 110 East 76th Street to life with their gorgeous designs. The Show House will be open to the public seven days a week starting May 1st through May 31st.

The Show House attracts 15,000 visitors each year and all proceeds benefit the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club which offers innovative after-school and enrichment programs for 10,000 youth, ages six through 18 in ten locations throughout the Bronx. The esteemed organization has raised over $22 million to date.

“This year’s group of participating designers for the Kips Bay Decorator Show House is remarkable. We can’t thank them enough for working with us on a cause that is so important to the community,” said Bunny Williams, Chair of the Show House Committee. “We’re excited to see the results of this powerhouse team and know that with their dedication and talent we will continue to surpass our fundraising goals, which are so crucial to enhancing after-school and enrichment programs for our city’s youth.”

About Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club
Since 1915, Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club has focused on improving and enhancing the lives of New York City’s children who are economically, socially or recreationally disadvantaged. Each year, Kips Bay offers innovative programs to more than 10,000 young people between

the ages of 6 and 18 at ten locations throughout the Bronx, with essential afterschool programs aimed to help them recognize their potential for growth and success. Today, the club is proudly one of the most prominent and responsive youth development agencies in New York City and a “flagship” of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

The 22 designers and architects participating in this year’s Decorator Show House include:
Branca, Inc.

B.A. Torrey

Barbara Ostrom Associates Brian del Toro

Bunny Williams Incorporated Clive Christian

Dan Fink

David Netto Design LLC Drake | Anderson

Juan Montoya Design

Katie Ridder Inc.

Marcia Tucker Interiors

Mark D. Sikes

Mark Hampton, LLC

Michael Herold Design Nievera Williams Design Pavarini Design

Phillip Mitchell Design

Sasha Bikoff

Scott Sanders LLC

Steilish Interiors & Architecture Wesley Moon Inc. Design & Decoration

The sponsors for this year’s Show House include Kohler, AJ Madison, Hickory Chair, Hearst Design Group, Morgan Stanley, Farrow & Ball, Cambria, AKDO, The Rug Company, Schumacher, Architectural Digest and 1st Dibs.


P.S.  I researched the townhouse space and guess what?  The 110 East 76th Street locale for the Decorator Show House and its 15,000 square feet, eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, landscaped back garden and a roof terrace garden is priced at a mere $51 million or so.   Ahhh … The show amplifies design within reach all the more.  
Be sure to get your tickets and explore the best in design.  Till the end of May.

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 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

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